GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Greenfield Community College beat out hundreds of schools for an award recognizing one of their online programs.
Many students said the online program prepared them to build things used everyday in manufacturing facilities. Greenfield Community College was one of six colleges across the country to win the TUPEC award for their use of online training in teaching future manufacturing workers.
The program offers over 400 classes teaching students about manufacturing, math and other needed skills for the job.
Dana Graves, a VSS manufacturing worker told 22News, “I came in at an entry level position, obviously, but there are a lot of guys who come in off the street and I was, after just three months of schooling I was about a year a head of a lot of the guys they just took off the street.”
According to the Institute for Supply Management, the U.S. manufacturing industry is growing at its fastest pace within the last three years, but many people in the industry fear an aging workforce that’s not being replaced fast enough.
“Manufacturing jobs are thriving here in western Massachusetts. In Franklin and Hampshire County a lone, we have over 250 area manufacturers who are looking for highly skilled, motivated employees,” said Alyce Styles, the director of workplace development.
Many of the workers 22News spoke with said that their online education at GCC has prepared them to work in a real life manufacturing facility.
“I felt that the MSMI program prepared me pretty well for my job. I was able to translate a lot of those skills that I learned in the classroom right to the shop floor, feeling very comfortable,” said Manuel Henriques, a VSS manufacturing worker.
Stiles also told 22News that they plan on expanding the online program to accommodate more students.